Engaging CultureStrategy & Marketing

TV Producers – This is your Audience!

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  1. HA! Walmart should use that clip as their next ad campaign. "Break-out your white tie and tails, we're goin' to Walmart." "Don't need the glitz and glamor, no caviar by the Nile, I'll be just fine, with me and mine, while we sashay down the aisle." "Thank you Mayor Bloomberg for all your renovation, but it'll be awhile till we kick the style of our beloved destination." 

  2. That's the funniest thing I've seen in quite some time.  I've always thought of WalMart as a pretty high-end, upper-class kind of place, and Ms. Jackson's comments just confirm what I already knew to be true.

    And, actually, my small Virginia town had an Oktoberfest festival over the weekend, and while I was walking down the street, looking at all of the precious rural folks, I found myself thinking about them as potential audience – the first time I've done that in a crowded place.  It was an interesting phenomenon as I tried to imagine what would speak to them – what sort of stories they would receive.  

    Good thing to do in Dollar Palaces or WalMart, too.  Or in a Starbucks in Santa Monica, for that matter.


  3. Despite the wonderful, homespun humor…you missed the LARGER point: Americans, no matter their level of society, red-blue state, are not your only audience for the Gospel. If your tv show is meant to reach more than just Americans who have heard the message of Jesus 10x (for better or worse) then WaMart has nothing to do with it. Laughs or not. Are you reaching people cross-culturally? People in Singapore? China? Kenya? Nigeria? Brasil? Argentina? Mexico? Is this blog meant for gringos? Phil's a gringo. Maybe this is a gringo site. What has your show done to present the Gospel of Jesus to Germans? French? Russians? Thais? In your WalMart mentality are you slapping on subtitles to your American show to make the message cheap and easy in transition to reach Egypt? For Canada – a distinct culture – do you just slap on a Canadian p.o. box to make your show Canadian? What is your answer to reaching unique cultures with the timeless message of Jesus? Do you "WalMart" it in? I guess Jesus talking to the woman at the well – a female, a Samaritan, a person in sin drawing water, alone, at mid day – worst time of day – is not unique enough to speak to in a way appropriate to her situation, identity and nationality. Time to – in American speak – mail it in. How sad.

    Sorry to give you a diatribe. But when are we as Christians – no matter the nationality  or ethnicity – going to start thinking beyond what they frickin' think in Toledo and start thinking about what they think in Guatemala? Jerusalem, God bless it, is saturated. The other most parts of the world are still waiting for God's hope…Walmart style or not. Oh, I forgot to wear my tux. 🙂

  4. Good point Crash. If you're sending us your program and it's too 'American' (whatever that means) we'll just delete that ep totally if we don't think our audience will swallow it. The biggest obstacle to Australians 'hearing' the Gospel is lack of authenticity and 'relatability'.

  5. Hey Crash,

    It was a good post. It's certainly topical and timely, and a good reminder to us all. In fact, Phil had a great blog entry he did, dealing with that exact subject:


    Interesting that that particular entry received 0 comments. Was it the only 0 commented entry on the entire page?


  6. While I agree with Crash's comments to a point – the greater question to me is not just audience but relevance. I believe that when God calls us, He calls us not just to Him but to an audience as well.  An audience that we will relate to, and be relevant to, so that – at the risk of sounding Christianese– the same comfort we have received we can give out to others.  That audience very well may be in Toledo, so why should I be addressing Guatemalans in my message?

    To me the message is a simple message that applies cross culturally. 

    Christ came for all the hurting, messed up folks, who are born into and deal with a sin filled world on a daily basis – whether at Dollar Palace, Walmart, Iraq, or sitting drinking a cup of red tea by a South African beach.

    P.S. Glocalization by Bob Roberts Jr. Zondervan Press is a great book to help one open up the thought process to the blend of the local and global society we live in and the applications of our faith in the ever shrinking world.

  7. "To me the message is a simple message that applies cross culturally." – Bill

    True. But how? why? in what ways? It's so EASY to type out that the Gospel applies cross-culturally. Sounds good; looks good. But it's up to us to bring the light of Jesus to a dark world in ways that are relevant to who people are – and all that implies. Put simply: What we're talking about is METHOD. Jesus was the Way, Truth and Life (always was, is and will be) when He spoke to the woman at the well. He brought His message in a way that was appropriate to her needs, life, identity and circumstances – fraught with cross cultural challenges – woman, Samaritan, sinner, harlot. Should He have just blathered out "I am the Son of God?" Would she have understood that on face value and fallen at His knees as she arrived to draw water at mid day (when no one draws water; you get it in the morning for cooking and evening for nighttime washing and cleaning; she got it at mid day to AVOID people and their whispers).

    What MY post was about centered on audience and presentation – and a world of people in USA who have heard the Gospel so frequently that they often roll their eyes, to signal they've heard it all before…as opposed to a lost, outside world who barely knows who Jesus is, let alone that He died for them. We're talking about the differences between the fed and the starving.

    That said…riddle me this, Riddler: does anyone deserve to hear the Gospel TWICE (Toledo aka Jerusalem) when there are those who have never heard it ONCE (other most parts of the world)? My answer is that that Toledo and the world need Jesus equally. But why are there more pastors per square foot in USA (WalMart) when tne,


  8. But Hollywood has beat us to the punch! I am a foreign missionary, living and working in the former Soviet Central Asia. I've been there for eight years (am home now on furlough) and the one thing that connects my homeland with my adopted homeland is Hollywood. Well, not the only thing, but the most obvious thing.

    Video stores are on every corner! If you go into a house, the odds are that the homeowner has a DVD collection (oftentimes badly translated into Russian, but still…) and not usually with movies from Hong Kong or Bollywood, but Hollywood. If you are talking to a young person there, you can have a long conversation about the latest movies, because they are being released simultaneously worldwide.

    There is very little interest in home-grown movies. The film industry in my host country is pretty impressive for a former USSR country, but still – the only time the vast majority of nationals have paid much attention to their product was when Hollywood came and co-produced a big budget film with them, using western actors to play nationals.

    This underlines the importance of getting Christians working in Hollywood, so that the product that is being turned out will contain more TRUTH and less POISON – because it is the world that is at stake. It's great if we can get more GOSPEL out, but at this stage of the game, I think it would be fantastic if we were able to stem the flow of POISON going around the world.

    – Nate

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